The Ormeau Bottle Tree is a critically endangered canopy tree that’s native to the Ormeau area in South East Queensland. For decades, the species has been under threat from weeds, wildfires and land clearing.
In an effort to help conserve the species, Healthy Land and Water launched the Ormeau Bottle Tree Project in early 2019 in collaboration with local community groups and land managers through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
With the short-term project due for completion in June 2019, Healthy Land and Water experts are working hard to implement recovery actions by surveying the health of the species’ known population and conducting a series of habitat mapping across private and public land.
This study will help project leaders to identify areas suitable for future population expansion of the species which is currently made up of 121 mature and 87 juvenile trees. However, in March 2019, a significant finding was made with an additional 350 juvenile trees located.
Healthy Land and Water’s Ormeau Bottle Tree Project is built on existing and long-standing collaborations and activity by local community groups including, North East Albert Landcare and Friends of Ormeau Bottle Tree and, land managers from the City of Gold Coast, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Boral and Holcim.
Project leaders have also recently helped land managers improve conservation of existing trees by implementing weed and fire control management plans and investigating the possibility of installing a genetically representative seed greenhouse.
With only 20 per cent of potential habitat assessed so far, it is hoped the species population number will increase if additional funding can be secured to undertake further surveys.
Healthy Land and Water is making great progress to date with the assessment of the status and threats to all mature trees completed, and project leaders are continuously reporting project findings to community groups, land managers and government to guide future conservation efforts.
In June, Healthy Land and Water will be hosting a community day with local Ormeau residents to provide them with details about the project, information on the Ormeau Bottle Tree species and actions they can take to help conserve the tree. Details will be announced soon via Healthy Land and Water’s Facebook page and website.